The Denver Broncos are not getting Matthew Stafford.
You can all collectively exhale now that the former Detroit quarterback will be playing the next two years (at least) with the Los Angeles Rams and not the Broncos.
The Rams traded a huge haul to the Lions to get Stafford, sending over their own starting quarterback Jared Goff and two first-round draft picks (2022, 2023) as well as a third-round pick to get Stafford to LA.
The Broncos were involved in Stafford trade talks as everyone expected they would be, but the talks never got more than exploratory.
The Lions wanted a “big chunk” of the Denver Broncos’ young offense? What would that even look like?
It would have included Drew Lock, according to Mike Klis…
The Lions trying to get picks and players from the Denver Broncos in however serious of proposals those were is intriguing, but it probably made it way easier for new general manager George Paton to turn down.
Paton inherited a roster that is no longer rebuilding (at least, not in my opinion) and trading away key young pieces on offense would have made acquiring Stafford less exciting.
Imagine parting with not only high draft choices but also players like Drew Lock and any of Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, or whoever else the Lions were trying to take in the deal.
The Lions’ aim here was to get a desperate team to overpay, and the Rams were that team.
George Paton vowed in his introductory press conference that the Denver Broncos would be “in” every deal when it came to being aggressive and pursuing players, and he is obviously a man of his word.
The Denver Broncos should have undoubtedly explored the option of acquiring Stafford because in the immediate, he is a known commodity at the position and as previously mentioned, the roster in Denver right now is not one that is rebuilding any longer.
Is it a perfect roster? By no means.
It’s important, however, to consider what others think of it. Paton, who is coming in from the Minnesota Vikings, labeled the Broncos’ roster a “sleeping giant”. Stafford himself had the Broncos among his top destinations…
This speaks to the Denver Broncos’ readiness to compete, especially if they can continue to add strong assets through free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Will Paton make exploratory calls to the Houston Texans about DeShaun Watson as well? It’s possible, but it’s doubtful the Denver Broncos would be able to pull off a trade package to suit the Texans based on what we just saw go down with Detroit and Los Angeles.